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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 29, 2011 6:00am-8:00am PST

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eve and what his favorite moments ar we'll bring those to you tomorrow. the island of samoa is going to find out what a difference a day makes. the pacific island is jumping from today december 29th to new year's eve skipping friday to accommodate its move to the west side of the international dateline. so, if tomorrow is your birthday and you live in samoa, we're sorry about that. it would be closer in time to its closest trading partners new zealand and china. thanks so much for joining us. "cnn newsroom" with hala gorani. >> we begin right now with a stunning shakeup in iowa. just five days before the presidential caucuses. a new cnn/"time"/orc international poll shows newt gingrich in a free fall. the former one-time frontrunner plunges to fourth place and long
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shot rick santorum leap frogs into fourth. his support has tripled since the beginning of the month and closing in on mitt romney and ron paul who are locked in the statistical ties within the margin of error. joe johns is in des moines to break it down. of course, the question is, did the gingrich camp see this coming? >> yeah, i think to some degree they saw this coming. hammering ron paul, for example. also, mitt romney. it's pretty clear that gingrich saw he had some problems because he was just getting hammered on tv ads day after day from these guys. a lot of people attacking his baggage, attacking his alleged flip-flops. questioning his conservative credentials, questioning what he did when he was speaker of the house and his relationship with nancy pelosi. all of these things play into the mix here in iowa because
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there are a lot of voters who are very conservative. they want to see the most electable conservative going up against barack obama in november, hala. >> well, most of the gains, as we've seen there from that poll for santorum have come from born agains and evangelicals. he's worked tirelessly, as well, across the state and it's paid off for him. >> well, it certainly has. i'm one of the people in the camp asking, what took him so long? he's gone to 99 counties. every single county here in iowa and some places he's gone twice and he's held events there. he's really connected with a lot of those evangelicals and social conservatives. he speaks their language. so, some people were suggesting he was actually underperforming in the polls and now you sort of see the fruits of it going from 5% in the polls all the way up to 16%. putting him in second place. a lot of people suggesting he's
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surging right now just a few days away from the iowa caucuses, which is pretty much where you'd want to be if you were running for president in this state this year, hala. >> how much of an indication is the current standing in the polls? an indication of what we might see next tuesday. how much more can it change? >> well, it's funny. this has changed again and again and again. we sort of had the flavor of othe week and the flavor of the month. when you look at the polling, some of it is sort of soft a healthy proportion. something like 40, 44% say they could change their minds, again. we do know in previous iowa caucuses, as many as 17% of the voters actually said they made their decision on the day the caucuses occurred. so, yes, there's still some room for movement there and there could be some other changes
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before we get through tuesday night. >> it is a small media market and i imagine we'll see the candidates blanketing the airwaves. we'll catch up with you, again, joe johns,s well as our team in iowa with the lead up to the caucuses next tuesday. we're keeping an eye on two of the events unfolding this hour for you. mitt romney begins the second day of his bus tour with a stop in cedar rapids and rick santorum reaches out to his conservative supporters with a town hall meeting that is called "faith, family and freedom" in coralville. this reminder, of course, tune in tuesday night, the first true test there for the gop candidates in the race to the white house. america's choice 2012 live coverage of the iowa caucuses begins tuesday night, january 3rd at 7:00 p.m. eastern. there's no two ways about it, jobs and the economy, one of
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the biggest issues on the campaign trail. just minutes ago, we got a new measure of the economy in this country with the weekly jobs report. alison kosik has the numbers at the new york stock exchange. we're talking about the jobless claims numbers that come out every thursday. what do they tell us about the state of the economy and unemployment in america? >> it shows that we've got still that slight improvement happening, hala. new jobless claims actually ticked higher last week to 381,000. they came in a little higher than expected, but, still, they are below that key 400,000 level for that fourth straight week and what that does is it signal there's is a recovery in the labor market, even though it's painfully slow. investors are focusing on a bigger average, a four-week moving average which is at its lowest level since june of 2008. it shows more of a trend line and things are improving and that has investors talking about
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a jobs recovery last year. next week, of course, the monthly unemployment rate for december and the monthly job's report and an even better picture on the jobs recovery that is under way. of course, very painfully slow, hala. >> slow and sluggish, but if it's going in the right direction, can we expect stocks to open higher in about 24 minutes? >> yes, actually, stocks are looking like they're going to open slightly higher after the big selloff yesterday, of course. we're keeping our eye on the s&p 500, again. that is what most retirement accounts or 401(k) tracks and what the s&p 500 did is it fell back into negative territory for the year and now it needs to rally in a final two sessions to avoid a down year. now, investors, they're watching europe, again. that's after the euro fell to its lowest level against the dollar this year. we also have our eye on oil and ir iran. oil prices are holding steady around $99 a barrel.
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we are getting a weekly inventory report that comes out in about an hour. that will show us that most likely that an increase in oil supplies, that could offset worries about iran's threat and it doesn't mean to keep oil prices stable. you know how it is, any threat of supply, just the fear itself could cause oil prices to spike. we will keep our eye on oil prices today. hala? >> alison kosik, thanks very much. we're going to talk about that now. iran senior command er says the u.s. has no business telling the u.s. what to do. a senior official has since responded saying the saber rattling is really all on the iranian side. we've been committed to gulf security for decades. we'll do what we must to ensure the strait remains open.
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discussing the most important oil shipping artery in the world. well, violence is erupting in another syrian city just as peace monitors arrive. government forces reportedly fired on protesters in the city. critics are now questioning the credibility of this arab league team on the ground because of the surge of violence. take a look at this video. >> it shows people reacting to gunfire on wednesday. these observers sent by the arab league traveled through homs. cnn can't confirm if the video is authentic. foreign reporters are not allow und ed into syria. one journalist did not get in. over the next few days, cnn is showcasing his remarkable stories. here is his first report on government snipers.
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>> the snipers are on basically every main street they have checkpoints on both sides. snipers would shoot everybody who is basically crossing the street between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 in the morning. this is an unofficial curfew. the activists told me i have to meet this woman. this is the mother of the victim who got shot when she was pregnant in the seventh month. it was during the morning when she wants to go out for shopping. >> translator: her brother tried for half an hour to go over the walls and roofs to get to her.
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he didn't manage to reach her. finally they managed to pull her away, but it took another half an hour to get her to my house. >> you arrive at the situation, you arrive at the scene where half an hour ago somebody got shot and 30 minutes later people are crossing very normally the street. me, crossing the street, i've been feeling, basically, literally, i've been feeling that somebody is aiming. the sniper is aiming on me and i it's up to him if he's going to pull the trigger or not. i came to the junction and i realized that somebody wanted to cross the street with a huge pack of cigarettes. so, i could hear the snipers shooting and he was, he was across the street and the middle of the street. so, it was, again, one of the very impressive scenes where
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people have been very happily and almost like a sports challenge to get the cigarette backs from the sniper range. they were happy when they could. >> we need to cross the street to buy bread and other food, but the snipers have surrounded this area. it's a huge danger. >> and they started to throw the bread because they were not able to cross. so, everything they needed on the other side, they throw it over the streets. and the point of no return is already crossed. the people now, there are no option. they started to uprise and so many people got killed already and that when they stopped to go out to the streets, the regime going to come back and they're going to get killed anyway. >> on the phone with us now is
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the journalist who shot the footage we just watched. it is absolutely remarkable. thanks for joining us. we're not naming you for your own security. one of the things i was telling my producers is when you see the youtube video of the death of the man or the child with the bullet wound, that's the moment of crisis. but your footage shows us everyday life in a city like homs and you're saying people have reached a point of no return. can you expand on that? >> yes. i think this is exactly what i felt because it's been traveling to syria in the last six months for four times already. and this time i think a lot of things change because people in the syrian army is getting very well organized and people stop just to demonstrate peacefully. the people know that the point
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of no return is crossed. and this is not able to do it peacefully any more. they will have to fight for their victory and for the security. >> what also i found fascinating is that people are throwing bread across the street because they're afraid of sniper fire, cartons of cigarettes, as well. there's a new normal that just seems very tragic from the footage that you've shot and that we're showing exclusively on cnn in homs. >> yeah, i mean, this is the reality right now and this certain areas and neighborhoods inside the city where snipers are controlling the main alleys around this neighborhood and people are civilians, families are living there and they have to do their normal living. this situation is going already for weeks and months and they
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have to go to get -- they need food. they even play sometimes on the street when the snipers are not shooting. so, it's kind of normal life among this terrific scenes, you can see every day. >> you know, in the times i've been to homs. i've been there several times over the years. it's a bustling city full of life and when i see it here in the footage you've sent us, i don't recognize it. to me, it looks like a war zone. >> yeah, definitely. it is a war zone, but, again, i think it depends totally where exactly you are in homs because you can't have two different realities and that's why i think this is making the things understandable what the arab league monitors have been saying that they couldn't see anything because they haven't been exactly in these areas. you can't be in homs or christian area and you would never see this kind of destruction of the street. but once they put you inside,
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they smuggle you, and smuggle me. you will see exactly this kind of destroyed cities and in scenes where people are trying to cross the street and suddenly they get killed by a bullet from a sniper. >> it's true for the rest of syria. when people ask me what is syria like, i was there a few months ago. you go to damascus and certain parts are absolutely normal. then there are these pockets where it looks like a war zone, where it is a war zone, in fact. >> exactly. exactly. and this is, actually, what the regime is trying to do to have business, as normal, in damascus where you can have a drink and enjoy life. go to restaurants and almost the whole entire center city of damascus where people don't feel anything besides the sanctions
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and besides no tourists are going there and this is, this is pressure, as well, for the people. but they don't have killings so far inside the city center. i mean, you had had the bomb explosion and you have people getting killed in certain areas in damascus, as well. but never like what is going on in homs. >> thank you very much for your outstanding work. really, absolutely amazing footage that we're able to show our viewers on cnn and we'll talk to you in the next few days, as well. coming up, a sea of soldiers and hundreds of thousands of citizens gather in north korea. we'll take a closer look at the final tribute to their late leader, kim jong-il. and later, nine months after a tsunami washed parts of japan out to sea, we could start seeing the debris hitting american shores. we'll tell you about the dangers, if any, coming up later. ♪ home was an airport lounge and an ipad ♪ ♪ made sure his credit score did not go bad ♪
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the ceremonial head of state
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spoke of kim jong-il laying the foundations for better relations between the two koreas. it was beautifully choreographed as anything north korean is. a grand show to the world of solidarity, not only for the late dear leader, but for the new supreme leader, a show of onational cohesion. under the age of 30, with no military or political experience, kim jong-il front and center of proceedings for a second day running now commands a 1.1 million strong army, at least that is what these pictures are intended to show. >> he needs to take some positions and he needs to concentrate more military power and requires more regions and loyalty from the military. so, that might require some more time for him. >> reporter: kim jong-un's
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priority is to fulfill the positions of power left vacant by his father. a flurry of democratic activity around the region recently. there is a fear of the unknown with this heredity recession. the ball is in north korea's court and they'll wait until this new leadership is ready to start negotiating, again. paula hancocks, cnn, seoul. up next, take a look at this, trash found on a beach out west in washington. it's not just any trash, it's from the tsunami that hit japan back in march. should we be concerned? we'll bring you some answers, next. we'll talk about mitt romney pulling ahead in iowa while rick santorum is surging in the polls. what happened to newt gingrich? later we'll talk about the iowa drama with will cain and l.z. dinner! [ garth ] we get double miles every time we use our card.
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well, it was last march when a massive earthquake off japan caused a tsunami that left more than 15,000 people dead and washed entire towns out to sea. well the cars look like toy cars. this is the force of the wave for you. 120 tons of debris are still floating somewhere out there in the pacific. this week, there is new concern about it hitting the west coast of the u.s. and canada. some items from japan have actually been confirmed and take a look at this animation showing the possible debris flow. there is speculation that items will continue to float ashore
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for another two to three years. so, is this a problem, really, for the west coast of the united states? joining us live from new york with some answers is noted physici physicist, thanks for being with us. so, we saw some pictures there. we saw some pictures there of plastic bottles, clearly bottles from japan hitting the west coast of the united states. how much of a problem will this be? >> first of all you have to understand the size and scope of this problem is the size of the state of california. millions of tons of debris in the form of wreckage, pieces of homes and boats will wash up on our shores for years to come. the good news is the debris is not that radio active. remember that the tsunami hit with full force for the first few hours of that tremendous tragedy, but the meltdown, the meltdown did not take place until several days after the
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tsunami had already washed all that debris into the ocean. remember, it did rain. these products are water soluble and some of the water did wash into the pacific ocean. >> are we sure that people shouldn't be concerned about radio activity? should these items, the plastic bottl bottles, the boxes, should they be tested just so we're on the safe side? >> they should be tested. first of all, if you see any debris out there, consult the authorities first. the first problem is hazardous materials and then we have toxic chemicals and also human body parts, sad to say, realize that over 3,700 japanese are unaccounted for and expected to have washed into the ocean. the radio levels have been diluted. ten months since the accident and most of the iodine has dissipated. however, most of it has dispersed throughout the pacific. so, again, if you see any debris
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out there, consult the authorities first. there is a minimal danger of some radiation contamination in hot spots. >> don't touch it and the human remains, that is, i mean, i can imagine this is something that eventually is going to happen somewhere with these thousands of people still missing. but it's something to think about. and, quickly, the environmental issues. beyond the fact that this is plastic in the pacific, which is terrible for the environment, what else should we be concerned with? >> potential toxic chemicals. realize that cleaning fluids, propane, bits and pieces of people's lives that involved chemicals were all wash under to the pacific. in addition to industrial strength materials. that's why as soon as you see 55-gallon drums and as soon as you see large quantities of materials in sealed containers, consult the authorities first because some of it could be from chemical plants. >> all right, thanks very much for joining us there with the
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latest on what people should be concerned with or not. coming up, we'll talk about mitt romney pulling ahead in iowa while rick santorum is surging in the polls. but what happened to newt gingrich? later we'll talk about all this iowa drama and we'll be joined by will cain and l.z. granderson. stay with us on cnn.
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committed to restore peace in afghanistan. stratfor is going to wait to launch its website. hackers stole credit card information and released stratfor private company list. but apparently didn't see this one coming. and according to the "wall street journal" bp could face its first criminal charges stemming from the 2010 gulf oil disaster. the worst oil spill in u.s. history, still is. prosecutors say bp engineers misled regulators about the risk of drilling at that site in the gulf. mitt romney pulling ahead in iowa while newt gingrich takes a nose dive. the big story, though, rick santorum is surging. cnn contributor will cain and cnn.com contributor l.z. granderson joining us live from new york. i'll start with you, l.z., what to you make of these new numbers in the santorum surge? >> it's his turn, basically.
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sort of like pass the anybody but romney vote and just his turn. i don't think he's done anything. i don't think his organization is any stronger and i just think that it's gone from knlt to candidate and it's just now at him and that's about it. i don't think it says anything about his politics at all. >> will cain, what do you think? is it he basically put in the work, 99 counties and blanketed the airwaves. could that be it, too? >> yeah, absolutely, that's part of it. rick santorum's candidacy. he puts family issues, family values at the top of his list that he's campaigning on. again, you would think it would fit iowa very well. he's pult t in the work. he covered every county in iowa. why did it take so long? why is it right now he's surging? i think one thing. part of it is newt gingrich's demise. one thing that has helped rick santorum is the lack of debate over the past couple of weeks.
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he doesn't do well in debates. there is no tangible reason he wouldn't be doing well in iowa. so the only reason you're left with is his personality. he does not translate well in debates and on television. he doesn't seem likable. he hasn't been out there in front of people through the mass media in that way in the past couple weeks. i think that's helped. >> let's talk about how much more it could change over the next five days because so many in iowa, l.z., still say that they'll make, they're undercited now and they might make their decision on the day. >> it really boils down to one of two things. are you looking for a candidate that represents your values or looking for a candidate that is going to defeat barack obama in the general election? those are two for the republican party, anyway, two totally different kinds of candidates. and, unfortunately, there will be people still undecided because they have already decided they don't want romney for whatever reason. so, they'll look at the hodgepodge of ridiculous candidates that are left. knowing that those people likely
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would not be able to defeat president obama in a general election, it's very confusing to me. i don't know what the game plan is, i really don't understand why voters are having such a hard time saying we want president obama out, but we can't get behind the one person that everyone can agree upon would defeat him. >> let's talk about another social conservative, santorum has surged. michele bachmann, where did her campaign go wrong and why? will? >> i got that exactly for you, hala. post-debate. cnn debate, tea party debate. when she suggested that rick perry's advocacy for gardasil vaccinations in texas for sixth grade girls to do away with hpv caused retardation. what it was, it was a moment that's illustrative of all of her problems, essentially at heart michele bachmann's problem is that she's somewhat of a populousest. she says something and gets the crowd clapping and cheering along and becomes in love with that fact and then a comedian
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working a room a risky joke it works and another one, it works and then one undeniably inappropriate and the room's gone silent. done it with $2 gas and saying we should never raise the debt ceiling to saying gardasil causes retardation. you just can't take this risk. >> right. speaking of the straw, she won the ames straw poll. let me ask you this, electability. who would be the best against barack obama? is it still in your view, mitt romney as many analysts are still saying regardless of what happens in iowa, it's going to be him, l.z.? >> absolutely. when you look at the politics and by everyone else and i mean anyone else but romney. you look at them politically, each of them have some qualities and some views that i think the general elective would be interested in. it's going to be a problem with social conservatives.
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the social aspects of their politics and things that will hamper rick santorum. he's doing well in iowa, but 3% in new hampshire and the way he presents himself and as long as president obama is in terms of his political plans in terms of his economic policies, he's very vulnerable, but the social issues where people keep saying are downplayed. when you get into a general election and you're wondering, do i want to vote for a person who is going to ban abortions regardless of the circumstances? you start weighing that a lot heavier once you get towards general election. >> l.z. granderson, will cain, thank you very much. this reminder, tune in tuesday night. this is cnn's america's choice. live coverage of the iowa caucuses begins tuesday night 7:00 p.m. eastern. hugo chavez of venezuela wonders if the u.s. is making latin american leaders sick. that story ahead.
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well, he says he doesn't want to make any "reckless accusations" but after it was announced the president of argentina has candidateser hugo chavez wonders if making leaders sick. zain verjee has more. i don't want to make any
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reckless accusations, you know they're going to go on to make a reckless accusation. what makes him think that the united states is responsible for the illness of latin american leaders, zain. >> hi, hala. hugo chavez is saying that it is very, very, very, very strange as to what's happening. he is saying that five former and present latin american leaders have cancer. himself, he says, he's defeated cancer. argentina's president has just been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and she'll have to go through surgery. paraguay's got lymphoma and the former president is being treated for throat cancer. so, hugo chavez is saying, this cannot be a coincidence. he goes, what if the u.s. has developed a technology to induce cancer and nobody knows about it. and then while he was speaking in front of some kind of military event, he cited these revelations that the u.s.
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between 1946 and 1948 had carried out human experiments in guatemala where the subjects that they used were exposed to sexually transmitted diseases. he says, and i quote, that was 50 years ago. will we find out 50 years from now that the u.s. was infecting presidents with cancer? hala, he says he doesn't know, but he's just putting it out there. >> well, is he being serious? of course, the question is with hugo chavez, he says things sometimes. you feel that he says them just to stir up controversy. is the feeling that in this case he's just trying to create a bit of a stir? >> hugo chavez likes attention. he's a showman. he wants to create a stir and he's always done it on the back of anti-u.s. rhetoric. he is really good at that. does anyone believe him? is he grabbing headlines? absloutly, yes he is. he's also thrown in there, by the way, he says, have you noticed when these presidents get diagnosed with cancer, he
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cited two examples himself. i think brazil's president. it happens right before an election. hala? >> all right, zain verjee in london, we'll see you a bit later on, zain. from congresswoman gabrielle giffords recovery to stem cell research. some of the top medical stories over the past year. nice ring. knock it off. ignore him. with the capital one venture card you earn... double miles on every purchase. [ sharon ] 3d is so real larry. i'm right here larry. if you're not earning double miles... you're settling for half. really? a plaid tie? what, are we in prep school? [ male announcer ] get the venture card at capitalone.com and earn double miles on every purchase every day. what's in your wallet? i was gonna say that. uh huh... multi-policy discount. paperless discount. paid-in-full discount. [yawning] homeowner's discount. safe driver discount.
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what happened to actually paying to go to the movies? we live in an age, of course, where millions of people can, if they want to, illegally download films instead. what is the most pirated movie of the year? take a guess. vin diesel's "fast five." 9.3 million people illegally downloaded that movie. she joins us now to tell us what other movies are on the pirate list. >> hey, hala. this list surprised me a little bit. the other movies in this, the fraud 5 "hang over 2" and "thor." they were downloaded more than 8 million times each. in fourth and fifth were "the source code" and "i am four." which were viewed illegally 7.5
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million times. the blog that monitors the site. they do say there is actually some good news for the hollywood studios. the number of illegal downloads are down from last year. they credit the decrease to the increase number of legal alternatives to download film although they note more legal options out there, as well. the box office numbers have been down all year in hollywood, so, maybe a lack of interest in these films are also playing a bit of a part, but one of the things that surprised me. while these movies were popular, some of the other bigger grossing films were down on the list. like the last harry potter film. that was down there. >> i don't want to point fingers here "hangover 2" "i am four" these are guy flicks. teenage, upper 20s type of thing. >> you may have a point there. >> i can't imagine a 13-year-old girl downloading the "hangover 2" but i could be wrong there.
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the most influential hair styles of the year. who are the winners? >> well, short is in this year, hala. i'm definitely not on trend, apparently. according to "wall street journal" the biggest heads of hair emma watson and justin bieber. his change to the current look here generated so many headlines white watson's stunned fans. the journalists says the hair stylists are getting inundated with these hair cuts. now, short hair hasn't all really been in for women in a while, so, this could be the start of a new trend, although, i do i have to wonder how many grown men are going to go in and say, can i get the bieber hair cut? >> i know this because he's out there so much, but bieber has a
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shorter hair cut now one than the one we were showing. >> that's what we're talking about. the shaggy hair cut was one thing and then when he got the short hair cut, that's what is the biggest talk in hollywood right now. he and emma watson's short hair. >> i'm seeing teenage girls, including, i have a niece 15 years old who has gone for the short hair cut. maybe it has been an influence. >> i think it looks fantastic. >> thank you, nischelle turner. a follow up to a story we told you a while back. the delaurean in "back tine to future" was put up for a good cause. you would not believe how much it would get these days. coming up, the year in review in medicine. from natural disasters to the best work of man and medicine. the biggest stories affecting your health. we'll be right back. and tastes simply delicious.
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for those of us with lactose intolerance... lactaid® milk. the original 100% lactose-free milk. when bp made a commitment to the gulf, we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp.
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we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home.
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from tsunamis to cell phones to stem cells, there were many stories from the world of medicine that affected our lives in 2011. chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta reports. >> reporter: january 8th, gunfire at a campaign event for congresswoman gabrielle giffords. six people are killed. >> did you say gabrielle giffords was hit? >> she's hit.
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she's breathing. she does have a pulse. >> reporter: the congresswoman is shot in the head, but survives. >> she was just exceedingly lucky. when i saw the trajectory where one hole was and the other hole was, i was like, oh, my gosh. >> reporter: because it was so far apart? >> yeah. it wasn't a little thing. it went through a lot. >> reporter: 3.5 months later the first public steps in the congresswoman's remarkable recovery. in 2011 i tried to put a spotlight on big hits in the brain finding growing evidence that football puts young people at serious risk and professional players as well. in february former chicago bear safety david dooerson committed suicide. he left his brain to scientific research. when the findings came back his brain had telltale signs of chronic injury. as stories like this rolled in the nfl put in new rules to try to protect its players.
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then it was march, and i witnessed the aftermath of an astonishing disaster of japan. our first hours on the ground were just scary. >> reporter: so we are going to move at this point. these seem like official warnings now. >> reporter: there was no tsunami. we were safe. more than 16,000 people lost their lives, and thanks to leaks from a crippled nuclear plant, the district around fukushima will be unlivable for years to come. in may the world health organization said cell phones might, might cause brain cancer. brain scans can actually spot the impact of radiation from phones, and some studies found a cancer link. doesn't mean cell phones are dangerous, but to be on the safe side, i always say use an earpiece. july brought questions about cancer and 911 just ahead of the 10th anniversary of the attacks. federal authorities say there's not strong evidence connecting dust from the fallen twin towers and cancer.
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first responders with cancer would not receive special compensation, but just a month later a big study of new york city firefighters found the opposite. >> we found a 19% increase in all cancers in our exposed firefighters as compared to our non-exposed firefighters. >> reporter: the decision on compensation could still be reversed. in on the the spotlight landed on the psa test to detect prostate cancer, a test undergone by more than 20 million men each year. a federal advisory panel said the psa test just isn't worth it. and then november, exciting news of a stem cell break through. two studies using infusions of a patient's own stem cells, one found the cells could regrow dead heart tissue once thought to be impossible. and the other study found the cells could reverse heart failure. one story that was left unresolved, the fight over the health care law. critics call it obama care. >> and i've said time and again,
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obama care is bad news. it's unconstitutional. it costs way too much money, a trillion dollars and if i'm president of the united states i will repeal it for the american people. >> reporter: in november the supreme court agreed to decide the law's fate next year. i'm dr. sanjay gupta, cnn reporting. this weekend sanjay takes a look back at the top medical stories that changed all of our lives in 2011. sanjay gupta, md, saturday and sunday at 7:30 a.m. eastern. we're following many developments in the next hour of "cnn newsroom." let's check in first with paul steinhauser. >> reporter: hey, hala. i'm here in des moines. our new poll says rick paul and ron paul tied. details at the top of the hour. >> reporter: reports of even more violence in syria today with activists telling us that a
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crackdown going on in a suburb of da mass cass even as arab league observers arrive there. i'm mohammed jamjoom in cairo. we'll have more details at the top of the hour. >> i'm alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. $200 oil, $500 gas, it could make good if they close the strait of hormuz. >> all right. thanks everyone. also, the stakes are sky high in the race for the white house. some people are eager to place money on the winner and do it legally. we'll tell you how.
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well, some things we're watching for you today. in new york new year's eve organizers are conducting their annual confetti airworthiness test this morning at 11. they'll drop a handful of confetti from eight stories up. it's preparation for the one ton of confetti to be released saturday night. the caucus ticking in des moines, iowa. whoever bought a winning $16.5 million ticket last december has until 4:00 today to claim the prize. if not, it will be the second time this week that lottery money has gone unclaimed. and in east coast-west coast battle from the l.a. lakers and the revitalized new york knicks. that game between the two teams picked to go far in the playoffs is at 10:30 p.m. tonight.
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we begin another hour with a stunning shakeup in iowa. just five days before the presidential caucuses. there's a new cnn time orc international poll that shows newt gingrich is in a free fall. did he peak too early? the former front-runner plunges to fourth place. and the long shot, rick santorum who is in single digits, leap frogs to third position. santorum's support has more than tripled since the beginning of the month. he's closing in on mitt romney and ron paul. they are both locked in a statistical tie within the three-point margin of error. cnn political editor paul steinhauser is in des moines. before i ask you what happened to gingrich, let me ask you, how did santorum manage to triple his level of support in iowa? >> hala, we've been talking a lot about this, social conservative voters here in iowa, very influential on the
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republican side. rick santorum,'s popular with them. 's been making a pitch to social conservative voters. take a look at our poll. when we break down that number, the overall number, this is of people who describe themselves as born again christians. who's on the top, rick santorum at 22%, ron paul at 18%, romney, 16%, so on. that is one reason. the other reason, maybe it's hard work. that's what santorum told our wolf blitzer yesterday. he's visited all 99 counties. take a listen to what he said this morning about those new poll numbers. >> bread and butter is bread and butter. we better have a message that attracts all across the board. i do. and that's why i think we're the best candidate. and that's the reason i think the obama administration fears us the most and does their best to ignore us as best they k. well, if iowa says you're the guy by pushing us up there to the top tier, they won't be able to ignore us anymore. >> reporter: one thing about
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santorum though, the former senator from pennsylvania has a pretty small cam pain structure. not a lot of fundraising. >> let's talk about gingrich now then. what went so terribly wrong for him? although it's early days and there are still five days left. people can still change their minds and make up their minds. what happened to him? was it the organization of his campaign? >> reporter: well, here's what the campaign says. remember back about a month ago he was soaring in polls in iowa and nationally. all of a sudden a barrage of negative ads especially in iowa went up on the air waves. they've said they've been splamed by the other campaigns and on the campaign trail. they're pointing towards that. hala, one other number to show you. look at this, with five days to go look at this number from the poll, 43% say i still might change my mind. i'm backing one candidate but i may change my mind. stay tuned, hala. this ride is not over. >> all right. the first of many test, and still everything could very much change in the polls. thanks very much, paul. we'll see you a little bit
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later. in iowa one thing has remained fairly constant over the last several months. mitt romney has maintained his spot at or near the top of every poll. that's the case again. as you can see there, we put that graphic for you up there again. in this cnn orc time poll romney at 25%. yesterday romney sat down with our wolf blitzer and discussedth message that seems to resonate. >> this is a campaign about the things we believe in. i believe the country's being led in a very unfortunate and destructive way by a president that doesn't really understand our economy or understand america. i can get america working again. that's why i'm running. >> well, this morning romney is again emphasizing jobs and the economy as he begins the second day of his bus tour. tune in tuesday night, we will have, of course, coverage of the iowa caucuses. america's choice 2012. live coverage beginning tuesday night, january 3rd, at 7:00 p.m.
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eastern. well, of course in the general election the biggest issues on the campaign trail, even at this early primary stage, are jobs. earlier this morning we learned that the number of americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits inched up just before christmas. the new number, 318,000. that's an increase of 15,000 individuals from what had been the lowest figure in more than 2.5 years. so this is being seen as positive news for the jobs picture in the united states. let's turn our attention to overseas. iran is threatening to stop the flow of oil through the strait of hormuz if new sanctions are imposed on its crude exports. the sanctions are meant to pressure iran to halt its nuclear program. a third of the world's oil supply travels through the strait. you see it there on the map. closing it could send gas prices soaring to historic levels. jill dougherty is here with more on this. we have reaction from the united
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states to what they are saying is saber-rattling from iran, jill. >> reporter: right. let's start with the saber-rattling, hala. back and forth, we just most recently this morning had a statement by revolutionary guards commander who said that the u.s. is in no position to tell iran what to do in the strait of hormuz. and then a senior u.s. official telling cnn that the saber-rattling is really on the iranian side and that the u.s. has been committed to gulf security for decades. it should come as no surprise to anyone that we'll do what we must to ensure that the strait remains open. so you're getting a tough message back from the united states because even though this is so far a wharf words, there is a possibility that some miscalculation could lead to some type of military confrontation, and that would be very, very serious because as you've been pointing out, that's
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a crucial chokehold for oil coming out of iran going into the rest of the world. if it were to be cut off it would be enormously significant. >> all right. jill dougherty, live at the state department. thanks very much. we're talking about oil supplies here very much on the minds of investors today. alison kosik has a closer look at the new york stock exchange. is there much worry there, alison, regarding the oil supplies? we're going to get in touch with her in a moment. we are also going to talk about that jobs picture with alison because we were talking about initial jobless claims on thursday that came out this day showing an increase of 15,000. i think we can go to alison now at the new york stock exchange. maybe not. all right. well, the dow jones is inching higher. 80 points at 12,2316789 we're up at 2/3%. that is starting to look better month by month. that is helping stocks gain
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ground today at the new york stock exchange. i think alison is with us. is there much concern there on the floor about oil prices with all of this saber-rattling in the strait of hormuz in that part of the world, alison? >> you know what, hala, investors are a little on edge that iran could follow through on its threat. it's not playing out in the oil market now. you see oil is down about a third of a percent, just under $99 a barrel. for the year though oil is on track to end about 9% higher, just to give you kind of a comparison there. now i spoke with oil analyst steven shork, and he told me if iran does follow through on this threat, it could wiped up driving oil prices to unpredictable levels. it could throw the world into a deep depression and consumers, this would be a situation where consumers around the globe wouldn't be able to afford it. you'd see a severe contraction in economic activity. that's a worst case scenario.
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he told me that he does not expect iran to close the strait. many oil traders agree with that sentiment at least for now you see that playing out in the price of oil. >> let's talk about the overall level for stocks and these jobless claims. it seems like they're being seen in a positive light. >> yeah. we're seeing a trend sort of toward improvement in the jobs market. claims did go up by 15,000 to 381,000, so a little more than expected. if you look at the overall trend, the four-week moving average, the trend is sort of toward improvement. that's why you see stocks higher right now. the dow is up 84 points. the nasdaq better by five. you saw the selloff of stocks so you're seeing investors buy back into the market. we've got two more trading days left in the year. a lot of this is also these portfolio managers trying to sort of window address their books before they close the books on the year.
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the s&p 500 still a little bit in negative territory. that, of course, is the index that our retirementment accounts track. we'll see if they can pull out a gain for the year. they've got two days to do it. >> thanks very much, alison. to syria now where opposition activists claim ten people were killed and more than 20 wounded after coming under fire from syrian security forces. all this as the arab league monitors worked in the flash point city of homs and arrived in other cities. a number of syrians have been supportive of the league's mission, but some are calling their efforts useless. cnn's mohammed jamjoom is monitoring the situation from cairo. we're hearing of deaths just as these monitors are deploying to flashpoint cities to homs and daraa, mohammed. >> reporter: that's right, hala. we've heard this repeatedly from the activists that are on the ground. they are concerned about the
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effectiveness of this mission. they're calling into question the integrity of the observers that are there wondering if they can really do anything about the violence. now just today we've gotten reports that in douma, which is a suburb of da mass cass, that just as they were arriving that there were security forces there cracking down on demonstrators. there's video that purports to show one of the scenes where you hear heavy gunfire and then in the distance you see what appears to be a lot of syrian security forces. we've gotten reports at least two people in douma today killed. over 10 people countrywide killed today. now also there's video that's emerged today reporting to show a scene that happened yesterday in homs when observers were there. they're still there. yesterday as the head of the mission was walking along this video appears to show an activist confronting the general talking about why people there are concerned with what the mission was doing. here's more of the exchange that happened on that video.
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>> all right, mohammed. >> reporter: this video purports to show a man -- sorry, hala. go ahead. >> no, go ahead. i thought we had lost your audio. >> reporter: this purports to show a member, an activist there on the ground who we did speak with later, confirmed that he was walking along with the head of the mission yesterday in the city of homs. he was trying to explain that these monitors hadn't been doing what they should be doing and that killings were still going on. up to 15 people had been killed there the day before even when the monitors were there. the head of the mission, you can hear him saying to the man in the tape, hey, we've only been here a day. give us some time to do what we
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need. we spoke to the person on this tape, the activist, who confirmed he was there on the ground. he said the people of homs have no faith in the monitors that are there because the killing has gone on. they believe that the al-assad regime only let the monitors into the country as a ploy to delay anything from happening. >> thanks very much. 911 types, i should say, reveal chilling new details from that deadly christmas morning shooting in texas. we'll have a live report. plus betting on the ballots. we'll tell you about an effort that could allow you to place bets on presidential politics. ta with us. 1 sta with uta with usayta with .
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chilling sound of near silence
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on the other end of a 911 call. not long after that police in grapevine, texas, near dallas found seven bodies in an apartment. all of them fatally shot, including the gunman. his estranged wife, and two children. david has more on the crime and those chilling 911 tapes as well. >> reporter: hello, hala. what we're hearing is something police have been talking about for a couple of days. they've been going over and over and over the tapes because the voice on there is very faint. they now believe it is the voice of the killer, the man who was there doing the shooting, the part of the family that came in was celebrating with the family on christmas day. as they listened they were able to hear initially very clearly him saying, help, help, but it was what they heard next. they needed additional software brought in to identify exactly what he was saying. they've been able to do that now. we're going to play it for you so you can hear for yourself.
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>> hello. grapevine 911. >> help me. help me. >> you need help? >> i'm shooting people. >> are you sick? >> i'm shooting people. >> what was that? you need an ambulance or police? hello? one moment. >> reporter: and that's all we hear from that. very few words. very few seconds, but police say they believe those were the words of az zeez yaz dan pa in a after he murdered his family. he had two firearms there with him. he also killed three of his in laws. at this point they're not talking much about a motive but they are looking into the possibility that he may have tried to cover up this crime because when police went in they found one of the handguns that had been placed in the hand of
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his brother-in-law. apparently yazdanpanah was possibly trying to cover up this crime and making it look like it was a shootout that his brother-in-law perhaps was responsible for these murders. of course, that's not what police believe. they were able to check the ballistics and find out that it was, indeed, the bullets from both of these guns that were responsible for the murders of this entire family, hala. >> well, the couple was estranged, you said it, but is there any other indication as to what the motive might have been? >> reporter: that's what makes this so baffling at this point. the police say they haven't come out to say anything specific about any kind of motive. he was a welcome guest, they believe, in the home celebrating with his family on that christmas day. it just makes this terrible tragic scene of murder just all that much more baffling about why it would happen.
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>> thanks, david mattingly. in an instant a california man lost his family when a military jet crashed into his home. now he's getting millions in compensation. we'll bring you that story. and you can bet on the ponies and the playoffs, so why not presidential politics. coming up, one company's efforts to lift a long-time ban. we'll be right back.
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checking stories from across the country. a man who lost his family when a marine corps jet crashed into his house has been awarded $17 million from the government. the crash happened three years ago in san diego. his wife, two infant daughters, and mother-in-law were killed. the pilot ejected before impact.
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military documents show he tried to steer the plane away from the house. there are three trapped miners who were rescued after they were cut off by fire and smoke 800 feet underground. they are fine. 51 others got out of the zinc mine when the fire broke out yesterday. and some of florida's biggest attractions had to close yesterday. why? too many people. the magic kingdom, the animal kingdom at walt disney world had to stop admitting customers along with leggo land. they say politics is a gamble, but soon we might mean that literally. a u.s. company is asking federal regulators to let americans place bets on political contests. it could happen in time, in fact, for the 2012 presidential race. lisa sylvester explains. >> reporter: you can bet on your favorite team, you can bet if
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you think the price of oil is going to rise or fall. you can even bet if you think the unemployment rate is going to go up or down. and in the near future you may be able to win big if you accurately predict who will win the next presidential race. the north american derivatives exchange, or nadex in chicago has filed an application with federal regulators to offer trading on political events. they say trading would be similar to the way a farmer may trade for the price of wheat or corn. >> whether you're talking tax poll six health care costs, energy policy, elections matter and can have a really significant economic impact on people so we think that these types of contracts fit squarely within the traditional functions performed by futures exchange. >> reporter: you can place political bets currently through the iowa electronic markets and an exchange in ireland called in trade, but the big difference with nadex is you could have big
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money on the line. these markets can be a good predictor of not only who sits in the white house but also which party controls the house and the senate. so here's how this would work, and this is just a hypothetical example. say you have a buyer that predicts that president obama will win the next election. he puts up $50. you have a seller who says it's not going to be president obama who wins, it's actually going to be mitt romney. he puts up $50. if the buyer is correct, the buyer pockets $100. the seller gets zero. on the other hand, if the seller is correct, then it's the seller who pockets $100 and the buyer ends up with zero. the value of contracts would rise and fall before the election as a candidate's fortunes ebb and flow. the commodity futures trade willing commission, which regulates futures trading, can reject nadex's application and at least one of the five commissioners opposes the proposal. bar chilton notes that federal law prohibits contracts on other events like terrorism attacks and political assassinations.
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>> i'm not sure that we want to throw our political process into the trading pits where just a few well-heeled speculators could theoretically wager on the outcome of an election and thereby take away the power of actually people who vote. so even in vegas they don't allow gambling on elections. they know something about election gambling. >> they say political trading has a public merit and it hopes to have the options list january 4th. >> reporter: if the cftc doesn't act by january 4th then the application is automatically approved. three of the five commissioners would have to vote to stop the trading from going forward. another option is the commissioners could ask for more time to review the nadex proposal. lisa sylvester, cnn, washington. well, rick santorum supporters may see their bet pay off. we'll talk about the secret behind his new-found success next in political buzz. [ child ] it's so cool!
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checking top stories now. more violence in afghanistan today. this time from an unexpected source. a man wearing an afghan national army uniform killed two french soldiers. france's president called it sad but says the country is committed to the mission to restore peace in afghanistan. stratfor says it's going to wait to launch its website. hackers stole credit card information from subscribers and released stratfor's private client list. the company analyzes international security threats. apparently it didn't see this one coming though. and according to "the wall street journal" bp could now face its first criminal charges stemming from the 2010 gulf oil disaster.
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it's the worst oil spill in u.s. history. prosecutors say bp engineers misled regulators about the risks of drilling at that site in the gulf. political buzz is your rapid fire look at the best political topics of the day. three questions, 30 seconds on the clock. playing today political analyst and culture critic goldie taylor. dino co-founder of the american comedy festival and cnn contributor, will cain. hello, everyone. first question, newt takes a nose dive in a new cnn time orc poll out of iowa. romney's going strong. today everyone is talking about rick santorum surging to third place. what's going right for santorum, goldie? >> rick santorum is going back to the very basics of politics. door to door, house to house. i think he ran his campaign on a
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$25 gas card. i think that's really all he needs at this point. so he's looking to breathe new life into his campaign by reaching voters on a one-to-one basis and it's paying off. >> will, what do you think? >> couple things, one, it's just his turn. as newt gingrich falls, rick santorum rises. two, hard work is paying off. as goldie said, he's hit every county in iowa. that will pay off sooner or later. three, his candidacy is tailor made for iowa. he is put willing family values, social conservatism first. fourth, finally, his weakness. his personality and how it translates in debates is kind of irritated an insulate that it's his turn. he hasn't been on display for a couple of weeks. all that is adding up to a surge to third. >> if you're not on tv and you do well, then perhaps he's not looking forward to the next time he's going to have to appear in that forum. dean, what do you think, the santorum surge? >> i don't think he's doing anything.
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i think he's the next contestant on american presidential idol. so you think you can be president? he is ate the next guy. he gets elevated and he gets torn down. rick santorum is not a good candidate. the man in 2006 lost re-election in his home state in pennsylvania by 16 percentage points. people in his own state don't like them. if he was the only republican candidate he would still be in third place. this is meaningless. >> thanks. mitt romney says he'd rather have ron paul in the white house than obama. here's what he told wolf blitzer. >> if ron paul were to be the republican nominee, it's a big if, but let's say he wins the republican nomination, could you vote for him? >> you know, i've already crossed that river, if you will, by saying on the stage a number of times, as i believe speaker gingrich has, that all the people on the stage would be superior to the president we have. yes, would i vote for him. >> if romney gets the nomination, could this come back to haunt him?
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will? >> i guess it could. look, let's talk about will no shu. ron paul's candidacy is becoming to be defined about the news letter and the stuff that showed up in the newsletters. it's not being defined by his dedication and principles to small government and constitutional conservatism. because of that fact, that's kind of a risk mitt romney didn't need to take. he's the most risk-averse candidate out there and that's been paying off for him. why take this ris snk kind of an unforced error. >> right. goldie, what do you think? >> i think he was backed into it. i think they asked newt gingrich about it and newt gingrich said no so they had to ask mitt in all due fairness. the general election is such a far distance away that they will just forget about ron paul and this question by then unless, of course, ron paul becomes an independent candidate. those newsletters are the gift that just keep on giving. >> all right. dean, what do you think? >> as an independent, to be
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honest, i don't think this issue means anything. i think comes down to this. which candidate can help revive our economy. who can create jobs and lower unemployment. if the economy improves president obama wins easily. if it gets worse he's the third president in the modern day to lose re-election. >> your buzzer beater everyone. 20 seconds each. a blush from u.s. news says jon huntsman is a regular at trade der joe's and that no one recognizes him. does that sum up his campaign or should he just get his trail mix, whatever you get at trader joe's, elsewhere? goldie? >> i think it's less about where he shops and more about nobody knows who jon huntsman is and so this is the guy who would be president who won't be president. and so whether or not he shops at trader joe's or whole foods or your local buy low, who cares? he's not going to win the election,'s not going to win the nomination. >> will?
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>> when i first got this, hala, i didn't quite get the analogy. maybe i'm slow. now i think it's perfect. he buys his groceries at a trader joe's next to the white house and nobody recognizes him. his candidacy has been failed for two reasons, a, nobody recognizes him. two, those that do think he's too close to the white house. he's too close to the obama administration. i think it's a perfect analogy now. >> dean? >> i don't think jon huntsman is a recognized republican in the presidential debates. he's below the margin of error in iowa. he might owe people votes at this point. my advice, become a democrat. you can run in 2016. never again as a republican with his stance. >> jon huntsman is the most conservative guy on the stage from a policy position. on huntsman as a policy point. >> he's gone so far right he
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can't a track the voters. >> i'm beating down huntsman right now. >> goldie's scoring higher. >> i'm beating down huntsman right now. >> thanks to everyone for playing. goldie, will, and dean. we'll speak with you in the coming days as we approach the iowa caucuses next tuesday. tune in tuesday night for the country's first true test for the gop candidates. america's choice 2012, 7:00 p.m. eastern january 3rd. tune in. well, what if all dates were on the same day forever? say your birthday was on a monday for the rest of your life, christmas was always on a sunday no matter what year it is. coming up, we'll tell you about a new calendar idea that could do just that. later it's not something you'd see on a used car lot. one of the most famous cars in movie history is sold in auction. the back to the future delorian later in "showbiz" headlines. there are patients who will question,
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gun shops say weapon sales were off the charts this holiday season. fbi numbers back them up. what's behind the sudden boom in sales of handguns and firearms? barn b barbara starr takes a look. >> these are $3300 rifles. we sold three over the weekend. >> reporter: in this holiday season, gun sales are on the
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rise. frmgts it was our busiest december ever. >> reporter: maryland gun shop owner says people are buying everything from assault rifles to handguns. >> we're totally sold out of almost all of our .9 millimeter glocks. >> reporter: it's a nationwide trend. the fbi is reporting 1.5 million background checks in the month of december alone. that is an all-time record. raymond says many customers already own guns and are buying more. >> then there's also the political aspect of it. we have an upcoming election. people are kirnd about that. they are avenue concerned about what obama is going to do if he is re-elected. they're trying to get stuff while they can. >> reporter: criminal justice experts aren't surprised at the chatter. >> there is a set of groups out there that every time there's a democrat going to be elected or democrat going to be re-elected say you should go out and get guns because they're going to ban guns. >> reporter: there's no indication of a new ban but
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republicans, again, are making sure the photo ops show them as pro-gun ownership. >> i'm actually for gun control. use both hands. >> it's the largest increase we've ever seen. the largest month of sales. it's something that we have to look into as public safety officials and say why is this happening. >> reporter: some of the people we talked to out there buying guns say the reason they want to buy, they want to hunt or have personal protection. many say they are buying guns to give as gifts. barbara starr, cnn, washington. well, checking stories from across the country. nobody knows what made a driver in centennial, colorado, snap but tuesday night police say he deliberately rammed his car into several others and then tried to run over people on street. he's being held on a $50,000 bond. marine lieutenant is one tough guy. he was shot three times in the chest in florida by two men who
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tried to steal a gold bracelet from him. he calmly called his girlfriend and literally plugging his wounds with his own fingers. police arrested his alleged attackers. >> i go to iraq, afghanistan, multiple times and i haven't been shot or blown up. i'm here at home in florida and here i am brought away in an ambulance with gunshot wounds. >> doctors say he'll make a full recovery. more than 1 million people have visited the 911 memorial. the museum is still being finished. the memorial has two enormous fountains marking the footprints of the world trade center. imagine your birthday always comes on the same day every year for the rest of your life. how about christmas, always, say, falling on a sunday. scientists at johns hopkins university are proposing a new calendar system that would match up days with dates. reynolds wolf is here to make
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sense of it all. that would change the actual day of the month or not? would it be easter that falls on the same day of the week but a different day of the month? >> it would be basically on the same day every single year. so say, for example, that christmas eve, if this comes true, if this happens, christmas eve would be on a saturday and christmas day would be on a sunday. so we have a little bit more of a regularity, if you will, to the calendar. the whole thing is weird. let's see if we can sift through the wreckage and take a peak. let's start off with the standardized calendar. give you an idea what they're proposing. some things would be the same like the seven-day week. 365 days would drop back to 364 days. no leap year so you wouldn't have any of those weird birthdays that would be on, say, february 29th. no harm meant or intend fd your birthday happens to fall on that day. the extra week in december would be added every five or six years. they would kind of balance things out. something else you have to keep
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in mind. what they're proposing every third month would have 31 days. others would still have 30. it would simplify finances, drug prescriptions, academic calendars and sports schedules. you'd still have a few weird things. you'd still have friday the 13th. there would be four of those. you can't get rid of that. the idea is for simplification. personally, i don't know if you like it or not, but it is an opportunity, something they're trying to play with a little bit. i can certainly see where they would make things a little more simple. i'm one of those guys to have christmas instead of on a sunday have it on a thursday which would gaur an at the a four-day weekend. what do you think about it, hala? >> no, i do too. i don't see an issue. i think we can all adapt to the fact that some dates fall on different days of the week every year. >> variety. yeah. >> i think we're fine. >> absolutely. >> fine with that. imagine this, reynolds. what if you could just skip a day? if you're in samoa and your
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birthday happens to be on the 31st of december, you're not in luck. >> no. absolutely. >> it's not happening. is it from the 29th to the 31st. so the 30th of december birthdays may have issues. it sounds a bit confusing. that is what's happening in the pacific islands, reynolds. they will go to sleep on the 29th and they will wake up on the 31st. anyone whose birthday's on the 30th of december, not celebrating this year. we'll be right back. we'll explain after this. [ female announcer ] the healing power of touch can be even more powerful, with precise pain relieving heat patch. it blocks pain signals for deep relief precisely where you need it most. precise. only from the makers of tylenol.
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precise. when bp made a commitment to the gulf, we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf
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have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home.
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the island of samoa is about to figure out what a difference the day makes. the pacific island is jumping from today to saturday, new year's eve, and totally skipping friday. it's all to accommodate its move to the west side of the international date line. here's barbara dreever of cnn affiliate tnnz. >> reporter: time might fly. the date line bill will see the island nation jump time zones losing a full day. >> it will give our economy an immense boost. >> reporter: that's because they're a day behind its biggest trading partner new zealand. their friday is our saturday which can make doing business difficult. >> after five working days really we only have three
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working days a week to transact our business with our partners in new zealand. >> reporter: but critics say the government is change happy pointing out that just two years ago it changed what side of the road samoans drive on. now it's changed the date line. >> it will affect us very much, especially our privacy. >> reporter: it's not the first time the pacific has toyed with time. in 1995 kiddibati moved its state line so its far reaching islands would be in the same time zone. in a move tonga introduced daylight saving for the year 2000 so it could be the first in the world to see in the new millennium. what do the locals think? >> it's a big thing for our country, to change our date. >> so that we can trade at the same dates for new zealand and australia, i think it's a good thing. >> reporter: the law change means they will go to bed on the
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29th of december and wake up the next day on the 3 1st. barbara. jee researchers have a connection with obesity and their bonds with mothers when they were toddlers. stores that allow customers to roll their own cigarettes and save money? we're getting snuffed out. we'll show you why. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. premier of the packed bag. you know organization is key...
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all right. let's take you to cairo. we have breaking news there where police raids are being conducted on some local ngos including two american rights groups in cairo. mohammed jamjoom joins me from the egyptian capitol with more on these raids on the national democratic institute and the international republican institute in cairo. what's going on, mohammed? >> reporter: hall a we just got this confirmed through the official spokesman of the general prosecutor's office. he said that the request to investigate these rights groups have come from judicial authorities here. they requested that the prosecutor's office inspect the offices of 17 local and 2 foreign rights groups for an ongoing investigation, that they may have received illegal foreign funding. we're also told that some of the offices were shut down. some of the computers and documents have been confiscated. he says a report will be prepared and sent to the
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judicial authorities for further investigations. these groups, as you said, include two u.s. rights groups, the national democratic institute and international republican institute. also the arab institute. this is sending a chill down the spine of activists in cairo some of them suggesting that this seems to be like a mu bar rick era tactic. many saying this is a clear violation of what these rights groups can do here and they're saying that possibly this is happening because these are organizations that were questioning not just crimes of the former regime but also investigating allegations of abuses by the current military leadership of this country. hala? >> all right. we understand computers were confiscated, documents have been confiscated. these are u.s. government funded rights groups, the ndi and the iri. it's going to be interesting to see the u.s. response to this. and one of the people commenting on what's going on in cairo
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right now said even the mubarak regime didn't raid offices like this. this has to be a cause for concern once again in egypt after the revolution. >> reporter: this is a huge cause for concern and something that is guaranteed to cause more tension here at a time when there is so much volatility and when so many people are suggest that go this revolution is far from over. you have rights activists here and rights groups that are very upset with the supreme council of the armed forces, that's the ruling military council here. they say that they've been perpetrating abuses ponzi vil yans here, that the civilian government still hasn't been set up here, and they want this military government out of the picture. we've seen more people marching, demonstrating. we've seen a lot more violence. we just don't know where it's going to go from here. this certainly isn't something that's going to lessen the tension, especially coming before tomorrow which is say day when protests are being planned in cairo.
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how this will play out we just don't know. the rights activists very upset about what's going on today. we need to see how this mr. play out. the fact that two american rights groups have been raided. we're hearing that some them that have been raided, computers and documents were taken. >> the general prosecutor's office telling you, mohammed, and our crew that there's an ongoing investigation that they may have received illegal funds. michele bachmann's former chairman is in iowa now endorsing another presidential candidate. details next in your political ticker. [ tires squeal ] an accident doesn't have to slow you down. with better car replacement, available only from liberty mutual insurance, if your car's totaled, we give you
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the money to buy a car that's one model-year newer with 15,000 fewer miles on it. candidate. e
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just five more days until the presidential caucuses in iowa. time is running out, and for some candidates support is running thin. a key advisor to michele bachmann is jumping ship and throwing his support behind a rival. cnn political director mark preston is in des moines with the details. hi there, mark. >> reporter: hey, hala. how are you? yes, a lot of intrigue just in the last 14 hours where we stand here in iowa. michele bachmann's iowa campaign chairman, a state senator, was with her campaigning yesterday. just a few hours later he appeared at an event with ron paul where he said he was leaving michele bachmann's campaign and he was joining the ron paul campaign causing huge shock waves here in iowa as everyone's trying to figure out where does the social
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conservative vote go? in fact, let's listen to what the state senator, ken sorenson, said why he wanted to leave bachmann for ron paul. >> tonight's a little tough for me. i've been serving as michele bachmann's state chair over the last year. while michelle has fought try men dousely for my conservative values, i believe we're at a turning point in the campaign. when the republican establishment is going to be coming against him over the next few days, i thought it was my duty to come to his aid. >> reporter: now it was bringing more drama to this situation, hala, is that michele bachmann once she found out that ken sorenson had left his campaign she came out and accused him of leaving the campaign because the ron paul campaign offered the state senator money. now he flatly denies that is true. to add even more intrigue, just in the last hour or so our own peter handy got a statement from another staffer from michele bachmann, her political director
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here in iowa, and he says that it isn't true either. clearly, somebody is lying, hala. >> okay. well, let's talk about newt gingrich who may have peaked early, as we said earlier, based on the cnn polling. he saw a spike in fundraising over the last several months, but he still may be getting ready to carry over debt into this new year. what's going on there? >> reporter: well, yes. we just found this out from the gingrich campaign yesterday. they told reporters that, in fact, newt gingrich has raised $9 million over the last three months. this was a huge increase of fundraising for newt gingrich who was doing terrible for most of the year. in fact, his campaign back in june imploded because his advisors at the time said he wasn't spending enough time fundraising. the fact of the matter is running a campaign is very, very expensive and he is in debt right now, his campaign says, for the tune of $1.2 million. i should preface this by saying we shouldn't be too surprised when yo

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